The CfERHR was recently invited to attend the first ever All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on rural health and social care at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster. The group was chaired by Anna-Marie Morris MP and was attended by representatives from all major parliamentary parties and several external organisations including academia, charities and deliverers of health and social care.
The first session focused on the different challenges of delivering health and social care in rural areas compared to their urban counterparts. Speakers included Professor David Oliver from the Royal College of Physicians, Patrick Hall from the Kings Fund and Dr Derek Greatorex from South Devon and Torbay CCG. Also in attendance was an audience from across the healthcare sector. The speakers broached the ideas of whether current models can meet rural care needs, challenges of recruitment and retention of staff in a rural environment and how investment in infrastructure outside the NHS could be considered to improve healthcare services in the community.
The group will continue its work over the coming months and ultimately look to produce a report into how to address some of the problems that have been identified. The CfERHR looks forward to supporting the group in this important development.